There was a lot of fantiastic food flying around this past weekend up at Feast Tofino, and somewhere near the top of the list of Things I’d Happily Eat Again was this simple Beef Dip sandwich from The Hatch Pub, one of the Island town’s newest restaurants.
If you’re unfamiliar, a Beef Dip isn’t rocket science. Also known as a French Dip, it’s essentially hot, shaved roast beef loosely layered inside a soft French roll with a side of the beef’s cooking juices, or jus, for dipping. Invented in Los Angeles in the early 20th century (its exact origins are debatable), it has seen countless variations in the century since — some great, some silly.
In the hands of highly trained chefs like The Hatch’s Paul Moran (a Hawksworth disciple, also the chef at 1909 Kitchen next door), the Dip often gets an unnecessary dose of fancy a la shaved truffle, an organ meat substitute (eg. tongue), or something along those lines, but to Moran’s credit, he cleaves close to the original.
The bread – a soft, pliable hoagie-style demi with a thirst for jus – was perfect, as was the thinly cut AAA sirloin, which was generously piled. Adding to the flavour were crispy onions and a discreet lick of horseradish mayo that only announced in the nostrils.
Again, the Beef Dip is hardly a thing of studied refinement, but that doesn’t make it any less fabulous, especially when it’s served on a sunny waterfront patio with a pint of Tuff Sessions from nearby Tofino Brewing Company. If you come to Tofino this summer, you need to try this.